Cleveland in Bolivar County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
—Mississippi Freedom Trail —
Returning home from WWII, Cleveland businessman Amzie Moore (1911-1982) became a principal architect of early civil rights activism as a founding member of the Mississippi NAACP and the Regional Council of Negro Leadership. Convinced that political power was the key to obtaining civil rights, he planned and led voter registration projects. Moore persuaded SNCC organizer Bob Moses to recruit students for campaigns, setting the stage for Freedom Summer of 1964.
Amzie Moore worked for the U.S. Postal Service from 1935 to 1968 and also operated a service station with a restaurant and a beauty parlor. He served in the army during WWII, and during the early 1950s, after his return to Cleveland, became a movement leader, active in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He procured financial support from the Southern Conference Education Fund (SCEF), an interracial, southern-based human rights organization. He also was a founding member of the Regional Conference of Negro Leadership and was instrumental in one of its firsts efforts, a boycott of service stations not
In 1955 Moore was elected president of the local NAACP branch, He grew impatient NAACP bureaucracy, however, and in 1955 he wrote a letter to director Roy Wilkins questioning the New York office's commitment to Mississippi. Moore saw the vote as key to cracking the closed society, and he planned and coordinated many voter registration projects. Greenwood's drive, spearheaded by Moore, was the largest single registration effort in Mississippi since Reconstruction. Moore persuaded Bob Moses, later director of SNCC's Mississippi Project, to come to Cleveland in the summer of 1961 and launch intensive voter registration campaigns. Moore's innovation, recruiting students to help with the registration, proved crucial to the movement. With Moses and others, Moore coordinated large SNCC-led COFO projects across the state—projects utilizing student recruits—that were models for Freedom Summer of 1964. Moses later said, "Amzie saw the students as a way out...[as] a force that he and other people should try to tap."
Moore's main operational center was the New Hope Baptist Church, which was burned to the ground after an NAACP
Erected 2012 by the Mississippi Development Authority Tourism Division. (Marker Number 9.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Mississippi Freedom Trail marker series.
Location. 33° 44.369′ N, 90° 43.155′ W. Marker is in Cleveland, Mississippi, in Bolivar County. Marker is at the intersection of South Chrisman Avenue and Ruby Street, on the right when traveling south on South Chrisman Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 614 South Chrisman Avenue, Cleveland MS 38732, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Amzie Moore Home (here, next to this marker); The Cleveland Depot (approx. 0.3 miles away); David R. Bowen (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Enlightenment of W. C. Handy Bolivar County Confederate Monument (approx. 0.4 miles away); Bolivar County Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); Delta Blues Inspires W.C. Handy (approx. half a mile away); Cleveland (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cleveland.
Also see . . .
1. Wikipedia article on Amzie Moore. (Submitted on October 31, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
2. American National Biography on Amzie Moore. (Submitted on October 31, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
Categories. • African Americans • Civil Rights • Politics •
Credits. This page was last revised on August 30, 2018. This page originally submitted on October 31, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 361 times since then and 55 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on October 31, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.